Felix Hernandez‘s rehabilitation start was shorter than expected yesterday, but not for any alarming reasons.
After coasting through the first two innings on just 23 pitches (allowing one tainted run), Felix faced three batters in the third inning and called for the trainer, leaving the game.
To viewers it appeared that he had some sort of setback as he recovers from a strained lat. Fortunately, the Mariners announced that he left the game with fatigue. This was confirmed by Rainiers manager Daren Brown, who had been ejected an inning earlier and had ample time to speak with Felix in the clubhouse.
The fatigue is a concern, of course. Felix only threw 31 of his anticipated 55-60 pitches. The good news is that he did not feel pain. He’s flying back to Seattle today and the Mariners medical department will decide what the next step is. A second rehab start for Tacoma during the upcoming homestand is certainly a possibility.
Meanwhile, the Rainiers have moved on to Round Rock to open a four-game series tonight. This is the second leg of Tacoma’s three-series, 12-game stretch against the top three teams in the PCL. Tacoma went 1-2 against San Antonio, which has the second-best record in the league. Now it is four games against third-best Round Rock, followed by five games at home against the league’s top club, El Paso.
Round Rock has been scoring massive amounts of runs lately (10.9 runs per game over the last ten), which is a concern for a Tacoma pitching staff that has a team ERA of 6.16. On top of that, the Rainiers offense has gone in the tank over the past 12 games, scoring 36 runs (3.0 runs per game) while batting at a .219 clip. The prolific Tacoma offense of May has faded away.
Maybe both trends will turn around in this series. They all do, eventually.
YESTERDAY: San Antonio won the series by taking the third game last night, 6-1. The Rainiers were limited to four hits and scored just six runs total in the three-game series. Keston Hiura homered yet again – the Rainiers do not have to face him any more this season. Tacoma has dropped nine of the last 12 games.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners recalled reliever Matt Festa and optioned Shed Long to Tacoma. Long is expected to report to the Rainiers today. Starter Justus Sheffield has been transferred to Double-A Arkansas to try to get back on track.
TODAY: Tacoma (32-36) at Round Rock (40-27), 4:05 Pacific.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Mickey Storey.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0.
PITCHERS: LHP Anthony Misiewicz (2-3, 5.52) at RHP Cy Sneed (4-6, 4.92)
HOT HITTERS: Austin Nola has hit safely in ten of his last 12 games… Kristopher Negron had a five-game hitting streak end yesterday… Ian Miller has reached base in eight straight games and has been successful in 13 straight steal attempts.
OPPONENT NEWS: The Express just won two-of-three from Reno… Round Rock scores a ton: they have tallied nine or more runs in seven of the last ten games… Houston Astros stars Jose Altuve and Collin McHugh each started rehabilitation assignments with the Express yesterday… Nick Tanielu has hit safely in 13 straight games, with 25 hits and 22 RBI during the streak… Anibal Sierra has an eight-game hitting streak… touted prospect Kyle Tucker has 21 home runs.
FAMILIAR FACES: Round Rock doesn’t have any former Rainiers, but they do have two local players. Taylor Jones graduated from Kentwood High School (Class of 2012) and played at Gonzaga before getting drafted. Nick Tanielu graduated from Federal Way High School and played two seasons at Washington State.
BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 3:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- Marco Gonzales had a strong start and the Mariners beat the Oakland A’s on Friday night.
- Ryan Divish has details on what’s happening with Justus Sheffield, and he relays scouts opinions on why he has been struggling.
- Adam Jude chimes in with a review of Jerry Dipoto’s “step back” trades.
In the PCL:
- Omaha took down Sacramento, 7-1. Jecksson Flores hit a three-run homer and Zach Lovvorn allowed just one run over 5.1 innings pitched. No, my keyboard is not broken. I don’t thinnk.
- Cubs prospect Adbert Alzolay delivered another strong start, striking out nine with no walks over six innings in Iowa’s 7-2 win at Fresno.
- Reno avoided being swept in Round Rock by going ballistic with the bats in a 16-3 win. Matt Szczur, Wyatt Mathisen, and Domingo Leyba each had three hits.
- New Orleans ace Zac Gallen survived the El Paso test, allowing three earned runs on four hits (but three homers) over 5.1 innings in a 7-4 win. Gallen is now 9-1 on the year, and his ERA “ballooned” to 1.77.
- Oklahoma City banged out a dozen hits and completed a three-game sweep with a 5-4 win at Albuquerque. Zach Reks had three hits and scored two runs.
- Nashville starter Seth Maness limited Las Vegas to one run and the Sounds held on for a 3-2 victory.
- Adolis Garcia had the game-winning hit as Memphis beat Salt Lake in the bottom of the tenth inning, 5-4.